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Join Atrium Health Navicent in recognizing National Minority Health Month

Health system, community partners to hold maternal health discussion May 3

The community is invited to join Atrium Health Navicent in recognizing April as Minority Health Month by becoming educated about maternal health and the racial disparities and inequities that minorities and others face in receiving health care.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 36 percent of the population belongs to a racial or ethnic minority group. Though health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality have improved for most Americans, some minorities experience a disproportionate burden of preventable disease, death and disability compared with nonminorities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Georgia has the second-highest maternal mortality rate in the nation. Black women in Georgia are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women nationally, according to data from the CDC.

Atrium Health Navicent, the Macon-Bibb County Health Department, the Mercer University School of Medicine and the Navicent Health Foundation are hosting an interactive event on May 3 to educate the community about maternal health and racial disparities and inequities through a public discussion.

Topics will include unconscious bias, the history of structural racism in health care and addressing community solutions.

The free event, scheduled to be held in the President’s Dining Room at Mercer University from 5:30-7 p.m., will also include a special viewing of “Toxic, A Black Woman’s Story.” To RSVP, email rsvpmacon@atriumhealth.org.

“Atrium Health Navicent is committed to bridging barriers to equitable access to health care and working to end racism and bias,” said Atrium Health Navicent President and CEO Delvecchio Finley. “With Georgia’s high maternal mortality rate, we have the potential to make a significant impact on not just today’s mothers, but for the Georgia of tomorrow by improving mothers’ care during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. Thanks to the Macon-Bibb County Health Department, Mercer University School of Medicine and Navicent Health Foundation for partnering with us to host this important community event.”

In addition to efforts to address minority maternal health, Atrium Health Navicent offers programs to help patients address heart failure and diabetes, conditions that disproportionately affect black members of the central Georgia community.

Atrium Health Navicent’s Heart Failure Readmission Team and Diabetes Readmission Team help patients with congestive heart failure and diabetes learn how to manage their condition, and to reduce their risk for needing readmission to the hospital. A team of nurses and social workers educate patients about their condition, interventions that can help manage the diseases better, nutrition, medications and more.

Both programs help patients set their own goals toward living a healthier life and offer support along their journey.

Assistance from the Atrium Health Navicent Healthy Communities Food as Medicine Market is available for program participants facing food insecurity. Help is also available for patients who need assistance paying for medication, choosing a physician or finding transportation or housing. There is no cost to enroll in either program.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on racial and ethnic minorities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health’s national theme for Minority Health Month is “Give Your Community a Boost!” Atrium Health Navicent continues to encourage everyone eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and booster. Those eligible for a second booster who have questions should speak with their primary care physician. Schedule a vaccine appointment today at www.COVIDSafeGA.org.

Experiences with racism and discrimination can contribute to mistrust of health care among racial and ethnic minority groups, leading to mistrust of factual information on vaccines and boosters. Because of this, the national “Give Your Community a Boost!” campaign also supports the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendations on combating vaccine misinformation at individual, community and organizational levels.

During the pandemic, Atrium Health Navicent fostered community partnerships and used a mobile vaccine team to take COVID-19 vaccines to those who might have faced barriers in reaching traditional vaccine sites —the homeless, seniors in public housing, those receiving public assistance and others.

“At Atrium Health Navicent, we work daily to earn trust in all we do,” said Atrium Health Navicent Chief Medical Officer Dr. Patrice Walker. “A large part of earning our patients’ trust is providing unbiased, fair treatment while bridging gaps to access, ensuring excellent health care is available for everyone in each of the communities we serve.”

To locate a primary care provider, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org and choose "Find a Doctor."

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit www.NavicentHealth.org


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